Baking: Homemade Bagels (Plain & Sesame)

Soft, chewy and emanating a gorgeous malt flavour. I fell in love with bagels when I bit into my first New York bagel in Greenwich. There’s nothing quite like a delicious bagel breakfast that’s both hearty and satisfying in so many ways.



The ones in the supermarket in Singapore are always either too hard or dehydrated. So I thought, why not make my own? I scoured the internet for recipes. But many were super complicated. So I combined a few and made some tweaks on my own for these scrumptious breakfast treats!




  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • sesame seeds (white/black)
  • maldon salt flakes
  • garlic/onion flakes or powder
  • baking soda
  • malt syrup (or maple syrup as substitute)

First, add 1 cup flour to mixing bowl. Add yeast, mix with warm water. And cover for 10 minutes. Once bubbly, add rest of flour, salt and sugar.


Knead the dough by hand or with a kitchen mixer using a dough hook.

Cover dough and let sit for 2 hours till it expands to double its size.

Then, take dough out on clean surface and divide into 8 parts.

Tuck dough into balls and place on a greased pan. Let sit for another 20 minutes.


Then using a rolling motion with both index fingers, create a 1-inch hole in each piece of dough. Don’t worry if it starts closing up, it’s normal.


When ready, proof for another 20 minutes, go up to 40 minutes if you can spare the time.


Meanwhile, prepare the bagel seasoning. Combine black and white sesame seeds in equal measure, garlic and onion powder and Maldon sea salt for a crunch texture and wonderful savoury flavours. Set aside.


Once bagel dough has proofed, check to see if they float on water. If they float like so, they’re ready to be boiled.

Add malt syrup and baking powder into a pot of water. Bring to boil. Then cook for 1 minute on each side before draining and placing on baking sheet.


Once it’s cooled slightly, brush with an egg wash (egg + water). This will give it that coveted golden glaze.


Top with sesame seed seasoning, and pop it into an oven preheated at 200C for 20 minutes. Do keep an eye on them. As always, every oven is different, and you may have to only cook for 15 minutes if your oven is slightly hotter.


They should start to puff up a little and develop a golden brown colour. By now, your kitchen should smell divine from the aroma of the malt syrup and all that delicious bread.


And there you have it! Piping hot, soft and chewy bagels with amazing flavour and a lovely texture.


I don’t like my bagels too hard and chewy so this works perfectly for me.

Quick tip: If you want more of that deep brown colour like a pretzel, definitely use more malt syrup when boiling the bagels! Adding baking soda also gives it that alkaline taste that pretzels have. But I don’t really like that, so i’ve gone easy on the baking soda.


The sesame ones go perfectly with some freshly-smoked salmon (we get ours from a local fish market that smokes them by hand everyday), cream cheese and capers.


For those with a sweet tooth, definitely try the plain ones with cream cheese and fruit preserve. I love them both sweet and savoury. Why not have the best of both worlds with this recipe?


Try it and tell me how it goes! There are many bagel recipes out there, but many of them take over a day of proofing and are a lot more complicated. I love that this one is super fuss-free and a batch can be finished in a few hours.

Do share your bagel-making tips with me if you have any! I’d love to improve these even more. x

2 thoughts on “Baking: Homemade Bagels (Plain & Sesame)

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